I’m not particularly joining in the Bah Humbug message (my search for Christmas Gloom images did not turn up a wide selection), though visiting the supermarket today to find tinny music blaring out a message of Christmas good cheer equates taking advantage of all those special offers did make me a bit humbuggish. I suppose the abstract noun is humbuggery.
What I wanted to point out, being rather honest and world-battered, is that a wish that everyone in a group of ten or more has a happy Christmas is unrealistic and I’ve always believed in making wishes and objectives practical if only just. So I recommend, to a group of ten people, “I hope nine of you have a happy Christmas.”
Now for a poem. This is a recent one of mine and I think I’ll leave it to you to see any common theme in the three parts.
He mentioned the eternal city, but the timetable is out of date,
Some of the stops have been washed away or closed;
The internet gives me pictures of it, but they’re disputed
Someone claims the mysterious hand is his
And has the ring to prove it. I have heard the music,
But perhaps it’s coming from next door’s TV;
The undeciphered symbols wrenched from the desert
May be accounts or a maker’s production numbers
Or simply random scribbles we’ve invested
With our own need for pattern. Going outside
I see the stars, step back and shut the door,
I read a pamphlet, get a cup of coffee
And grasp only in my sleep for a hidden city.
Up this tall, beautiful tree is a great bird’s nest
The bird is black, its talons crush skulls like paper
And in the nest, a single golden egg
Which you say contains all the wisdom ever thought
And I say would make me a lord if melted down.
We would both climb for it
But the trunk is too high, the branches insubstantial,
Buckling even under the weight of a squirrel
(So the old woman says) and we dare not do it and die
But you fear what the hatching from the egg would bring
That’s why you climbed and cried and fell and died.
Some say the drowned sailors are calling in the sea-wind,
And some, lost children, chattering in the foam;
Some hear the butchered whales’ song, but I
Just hear the wind, the beating of the waves,
Rasping of pebbles rounded over the years.
They say the lost creatures, whatever they are, will lead you out
Beckoning, alluring, to a death by drowning
But I see none of that, and so I follow.
Copyright Simon Banks 2013